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Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life
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Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life

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February 2016 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
What does it mean to live in a superconnected society? 

Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life brings together insights about digital technology and society from the many literatures in which author Mary Chayko is immersed: sociology, communication, psychology, media, and technology studies. The result is a groundbreaking analysis of contemporary social life as it is influenced by the internet, social media, and mobile devices. Individual chapters explore topics such as how digital technology helped to shape the modern information age; information sharing and surveillance; digital socialization and development of the self; digital inequalities; global impacts; and the impact of the internet and digital media across social institutions. The author’s clear non-technical discussions and interdisciplinary synthesis make Superconnected an essential text for courses in all departments that examine how social life is affected when information and communication technology enter the picture.   It is a great choice for general readers interested in this topic as well.

Dr. Mary Chayko is a sociologist, professor of communication and information, and director of undergraduate interdisciplinary studies at Rutgers University's School of Communication and Information.  For more on the author, visit her blog at http://marychayko.com/

 
Chapter 1: Superconnectedness
 
Superconnected
 
The Internet...
 
...Digital Media...
 
...and Techno-Social Life
 
Technology, Mediation, and the Diffusion of Innovation
 
Sociality, or Being Social
 
This Book
 
Chapter 2: Creating the Internet Age
 
A (Very) Short History of Information and Communication Technology
 
A (Not Quite as) Short History of Computing and the Internet
 
The Web Is Born
 
Wireless and Mobile Communication
 
Early Online Networking
 
Full-Featured Social Network Sites (SNS) and Social Media
 
The Triple Revolution of the 2000s
 
Chapter 3: Inhabiting a Digital Environment
 
Sociomental Spaces, Cultures, and Societies
 
Why Not Cyberspace?
 
Online Communities, Networks, and Networking
 
Creating Digital Environments
 
Reality, Presence, and Proximity
 
Reality and the Brain
 
Emotionality and Intimacy
 
So, What About Physicality?
 
The Intersection of the Online and the Offline
 
Chapter 4: Sharing and Surveillance
 
Sharing and Prosuming in a Participatory Culture
 
Crowdsourcing
 
Liking and Following, and Being Liked and Followed
 
Ownership of Online Content
 
The Power to Disseminate and Publish Information
 
Vertical, or Asymmetrical, Surveillance
 
Horizontal, or Social, Surveillance
 
Privacy and Obscurity
 
Chapter 5: Global Impacts and Inequalities
 
Globalization and Technology
 
Stratification and Inequality
 
Cultural Divides
 
Hacking, Danger, Crime, and War
 
Finding Solutions, Bridging Divides
 
Speaking Back to Power: Social Organization, Movements, and Activism
 
The Rise of Citizen Journalism
 
Chapter 6: Techno-Socialization and the Self
 
Socialization, Self, and Identity
 
Development and Performance of the Self
 
Expression of the Self
 
When Identity Is Marginalized
 
Growing up Online and Offline
 
Socialization Never Ends: Socialization Throughout Adulthood
 
Chapter 7: Friending, Dating, and Relating
 
Interactivity
 
Making Digital Connections
 
“Chemistry” and Synchronicity
 
Friendship–Online and Offline
 
Flirting, Dating, Romance, and Sex
 
Trust and Social Support
 
Interpersonal Conflicts and Harassment
 
The Lifespan of Digital Relationships
 
Chapter 8: The Techno-Social Institutions
 
The Institutional “Heart”: The Family
 
Health Care
 
Religion
 
Work and Commerce
 
Education and Libraries
 
Politics and Governing
 
The Media
 
Chapter 9: More Benefits and Hazards of 24/7 Superconnectedness
 
Constant Availability
 
Convenience and Microcoordination
 
Fun, Play, and Entertainment
 
Multitasking and the Attention Span
 
Stress, Information Overload, and FOMO
 
Emergencies
 
Dependency and Addiction
 
Health and Moods
 
Being Plugged in…to Society
 
Chapter 10: Our Superconnected Future
 
New and Emerging Technologies
 
The Techno-Social Path Ahead
 
Our Personal Paths

Supplements

Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. From kids to seniors, we are the greatest generations: communicating, networking, and creating information and media constantly and collaboratively. In this lively, wide-ranging book, Mary Chayko tells you how and why we are the most superconnected society ever.

Barry Wellman, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto (retired), co-director, NetLab Network, and author (with Lee Rainie), Networked

Dr. Mary Chayko provides a splendid tour of how social media came to be, what they are used for today, and what they are doing for and to us. Clearly written, Superconnected makes a fine introduction to the subject for students and general readers alike.

James E. Katz, Feld Family Professor of Emerging Media, Boston University, and author (with Michael Barris and Anshul Jane), The Social Media President

Mary Chayko has crafted a most remarkable work in Superconnected. Rarely have I seen a writer at such ease in identifying and explaining both the essential techno-social building blocks of information and communication technologies and the rich, fascinating behaviors associated with them. Sharing and surveillance, emotion and presence, hacking and activism, crowdsourcing and accountability, friending and dating, multitasking and stress -- these are just a few of Chayko’s inspired and informed topics. The work of a topnotch scholar and master teacher, Superconnected is inviting and compelling, friendly and challenging, unique and vital. It is the book I have been waiting for -- perfect for any undergraduate class on information and communication technologies.

Christena Nippert-Eng, Professor of Informatics, Indiana University, and author, Islands of Privacy

Superconnected is a provocative, thoughtful and thorough examination of the contemporary digital state of affairs. It will educate, provoke and inspire readers to form new perspectives on the consequences of new media in everyday life.

Steve Jones, UIC Professor of Communication, University of Illinois - Chicago, and editor, New Media and Society

Mary Chayko's Superconnected is an indispensable, interdisciplinary guide to the complexities of life in the digital age. Engagingly written and masterfully covering a wide range of essential and nuanced topics, it is a unique text that is ideal for any reader who wants to know how our current techno-social condition emerged and the promises and pitfalls of living in it. An outstanding text that deserves to be adopted across the disciplines.

Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, and author (with Brett Frischmann) of the forthcoming Being Human in the 21st Century

In Superconnected, Mary Chayko gives the reader a grand tour of the digital world. From history to hypertext, from the web to wireless, from cognition to community, from proxemics to participation to power, from the self to sharing to surveillance, from romance to rights and from group to globalization...it is all here to be enjoyed in her insightful work.

Rich Ling, Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology, Nanyang Technological University, and author, Taken For Grantedness

Superconnected is captivating in its approach as it dispels old myths and provides new insights into the functioning of a digital society. No other text provides such in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of such a wide range of issues, weaving together theory and on-the-ground examples, and local and global understandings, of how the internet and digital media/technologies have radically transformed many aspects of modern life.

Anabel Quan-Haase, Associate Professor of Sociology and Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, and author, Technology and Society

Writing in a clear and lucid style, Mary Chayko explores the impact of internet and digital media on many aspects of our lives, examining issues ranging from friending and liking to surveillance and global inequalities.  The book is highly readable, an ideal text for undergraduate students as well as the general public who are interested in such topics.

Shanyang Zhao, Professor of Sociology, Temple University

A good general overview of digital media and the internet that provides useful background reading.

Ms Heidi Colthup
Department of English & Language Studi, Canterbury Christ Church University
November 30, 2016

Provides interesting overview for students not familiar with the field. Slightly disappointing reading the book as a scholar, though. Old empirical data and not much new insights into a rapidly evolving field

Mrs Stine Liv Johansen
Communications , Aarhus University
September 23, 2016
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Gathers findings from multiple fields that overlap, so that key understandings and insights can be integrated to give a comprehensive picture of modern techno-social life.
  • Opens with a short, engrossing history of internet and digital/mobile/social media to provide context for the chapters that follow.
  • Recognizes that the entire world is not “superconnected” and contrasts high-tech societies with those that are less developed technologically.
  • Incorporates excerpts from face-to-face and email interviews conducted by the author to illustrate relevant points.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


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